Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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12 march

while i was in chicago, i visited barr mccutcheon, my math teacher in high school. after over 40 years of teaching math, he sez he's retiring this year, to south carolina, near the "mahsh"es, where he'll be happy to read, away from hellish chicago weather.

mccutcheon by cowboy
me and mccutcheon, march 1998. thanks to philipp conrad. mccutcheon is sporting a mustacheless shakerish beard now. quite distinguished looking! he pooh-pooed such a notion.

i visited him, and my other teachers because as i get older i appreciate so much more their patience for me, and especially their eccentricities that they persued beyond what they were paid to do. there's nothing that says that mr. mccutcheon had to come up with his own mathematical metaphors or make his students learn cities of the world time zones.

andrew kaplan is similar, he is an english teacher at parker, and for years, at least a decade, he has been the student government faculty advisor. i visited him to get a sense of my legacy - whether i'd done anything useful, or more than indulgent during my time in office. instead, i watching him with the current crop of student officials - i can't believe that this guy continues to endeavour alongside the students in their cycles of testing authority and attempting self governance! what an exercise in open mindedness.

prez when i was president of my high school, we made some proposals, and the principal didn't really respond, so we decided to have a student walk out - we left the school and stood outside until he came and addressed us.

andrew kaplan must have recieved some serious flack from the administration and faculty for allowing the walkout to continue, for not discouraging the students from rash action (either that or all the school's a bunch of saints. but even my rose coloured alumni glasses could not change the hues involved that significantly).

but i imagined him responding with his straightfoward philosophy and faith in john dewey, that students taking action was possibly the best thing for their education and if it wasn't, well it would be a learning experience for all involved.

so i was interested to hear his response to my talk in december of 1996. i think i was slightly sober about technology then; i came to parker to deliver a talk on "technology and youth empowerment" or something like that - how the landscape of computers was open to be defined by people doing personal things. he took from my talk that i was saying that your problems will go away if you just write about them online, whew, i hope that's not what i was saying. of course writing online i find to be an engaging collision of therapy and autodidactism. but i shudder to cast myself as some kind of technology evangelist who advocates shoving wires under your fingertips to find everlovin' nirvana.

so he gave me some additional thinking to do about talking technology. like being sure that when i present online creation as a fun and educational and life-enriching thing to do, i take time to examine or ask some questions about the negative aspects of online sharing.

so today i'm supposed to go in and audition for some tv stuff, like provide an example of the kind of web teaching i might do online. now i love to teach, and i can teach about the internet (a little about honduras too), but i have a lil' feeling that this teaching on tv might not be what i have in mind. probably more about how to install a counter and a cool background pattern than getting people excited to do their own thing.

but hey at this point i'll try out, and maybe take the job as a challenge. i figure i can't end up doing anything that dumb because i'll lose patience for it, or do something too interesting and get kicked off the air.

much of reporting in the computer industry is "press release reporting" (although much of cnn can be that way as well - but not street tech). there's more enthusiasm over the latest gadget than over any cultural use or implication of the machines themselves. so i am excited to work with some folks who might be interested in developing a sense of those differences. i don't know if these are them, but i'll let you know.

otherwise, howard and jonathan have taken my thesis to task for being too broad - now back to the drawing board with six weeks left to pull it to cojancy.

photo by agro? i'm staying with amy and very much looking forward to june when i might live with her and things might be calmer and as exciting. this week gk is visiting san francisco - we'll have to see if that fares any different than the last friends/girlfriend collision.

she is not on vacation like i am, so i meet her at work and go with her to school. since she has a car, i drop her off and pick her up at places - today she accidentally addressed me as "dad." hah hah.

we've found that we sleep better when we make love before. but after a full days work, it can be hard to get up the energy to have a good go at it. at least we're sleeping enough and kinda eating healthy so we're not losing our sanity. and the weather has been so nice here - really like some kind of spring break.

i seen her paintings and sculptures here, i like them a lot, particularly an enormous red self portrait she did. she's not excited to hang that up in our home however; hmmm, i say on the ceiling over the bed.

sigh - i love everybody, and i love updating my web site. i don't love any job yet, but i kinda like big companies where i can walk in and make a little noise and it's normally kind of quiet so people are surprised and excited to talk about something because normally not much happens.

being a salesperson for something impersonal is daunting - i'll have to do my investigations. all this will hold me until a book of some sort siezes my attention, or another friend/visionary starts up a cause that i'm willing to dive into more whole hoggin'.

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